BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — Brandon Valley High School is starting the new year under construction.

Brandon Valley High School is in the process of adding 21 classrooms and 35,000-square feet to its footprint.

“This project is critically important for us as we plan to have one high school over the next few decades,” Brandon Valley Superintendent Jarod Larson said.

Superintendent Jarod Larson says the high school is currently home to more than 1,300 students and is quickly approaching capacity.

“This addition will increase capacity at Brandon Valley High School to over 2,000, so our capacity right now is 1,400 takes us up to and a little over 2,000 so we’re able to manage our student growth proactively,” Larson said.

Construction is in full swing and is expected to last into next summer, as BVHS welcomes back students for a new school year.

“My son had a little bit of a ninth-grade jitters but he got there just fine,” Brandon Valley graduate Carrie Van Genderen said.

Carrie Van Genderen is a 1990 graduate of Brandon Valley.

“It’s fun to see how it’s transitioning, the fact that I went to that junior high and this high school and seeing now that it’s all one high school and continues to grow,” Van Genderen said.

Her family farms near Stickney but recently took up residence in Brandon.

“We live on a rural farm a hundred miles west and my son is more into the arts, he’s an excellent artist, and I’m looking forward to those types of programs,” Van Genderen said.

A select number of students are starting their day an hour early to help ease the flow of traffic as the school lost two entrances due to construction.

“At approximately 7:00 a.m. we run a number of classes. We have approximately 80 students that are enrolled in our zero-hour class. All of those students are students that drive to school so we have 80 cars come in a 7:00 a.m. to the building as opposed to during the rush hour morning,” Larson said.

A small price to pay as Brandon Valley builds for the future.

“It’s ultimately a project that will suit us for our student growth long into the future,” Larson said.

The $10-million dollar project is being paid for out of capital outlay cash. Construction started last spring and is expected to be completed by June 2023.